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Norma K. and Edwin J. Seiferle photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS296

Scope and Content

This collection contains images that document the social and civic activities of the Seiferles. The majority of images were taken on their hiking and botany trips, sometimes with groups such as the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC). Photographs are largely of gardens and flora, but also include scenic landscapes, mountains, rivers, harbors, and coastlines. Plant images are mostly identified and a great number of photographs are from the Seiferles' own Atlanta garden (later incorporated into Sandy Springs). The collection also includes photographs of family, friends, and fellow club members such as the Georgia Botanical Society members. Of special interest are images of plants from the Tullie Smith garden (later Smith Family Farm) at the Atlanta Historical Society.


  • 1875-1988, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Edwin J. Seiferle (1912-1995), chemist, was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1912 and graduated with a doctorate of philosophy in chemistry from Iowa State University in 1940. Seiferle met Norma Kelton at Iowa State and they married in 1936. Norma K. Sieferle (1910-1993), botanist, was born in Brookings, South Dakota in 1910 and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in botany from South Dakota State University in 1933. She earned a master of science degree in botany from Iowa State University in 1937. The Seiferles settled in Atlanta, Georgia in 1958 where Edwin worked in research and development for Tennessee Corporation which merged into Cities Service in 1963. Edwin retired in 1974. Together the Seiferles became well known conservationists and served as consultants to the Georgia state officials and the United States Forest Service, for park and wilderness development and protection.

Administrative/Biographical History

Edwin served as president of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club and was a founding member of the Georgia Conservancy. He was involved in several conservation efforts for Georgia, including fighting a proposal to extend the Blue Ridge Parkway into Georgia, protecting the Appalachian Trail from development, and opposing phosphate mining along the Georgia coast. The Conservancy was instrumental in the purchase and protection of Panola Mountain before it became a state park. Edwin founded and served as president of the Highpoint Civic Association for twelve years where he helped voice neighborhood concerns over highway development in north Fulton county.

Administrative/Biographical History

Norma was appointed second president of the Georgia Botanical Society in 1962 and was involved in many conservation projects concerning the Georgia mountains and the Chattahoochee River. She completed extensive surveys of native flora for the state and was active in protection of endangered and threatened plant species. She was an environmental consultant to the IBM corporation to assist with developing their regional headquarters. She also served as grounds chairman (1975-1986) for design and restoration of the gardens and grounds of the Tullie Smith House of the Atlanta History Center. In 1965 Norma rescued a previously unknown native azalea, Rhododendron speciosum Chattahoochee (Chattahoochee Azalea), from the western part of Fulton County, in an area that later became part of the Fulton County Industrial District and registered it with the American Rhododendron Society in 1982. Norma Seiferle died in 1993 and Edwin Seiferle died in 1995.


4525 image(s) (3553 color transparencies, 235 color photographic prints, 264 black and white photographic prints, 162 color negatives, 115 black and white negatives, and 96 color glass slides)



System of Arrangement

This collection is arranged alphabetically according to titles supplied by staff, except for Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC) trips and Kelton family images which are arranged chronologically.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Most of the items in this collection are located in cold storage (CS) as indicated by the descriptive inventory. Patrons must allow 24 hours after retrieval of item(s) before viewing material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1993

Related Archival Materials

Norma K. and Edwin J. Seiferle papers, MSS 1050, Cherokee Garden Library, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2018, with a subsequent addition.

Norma K. and Edwin J. Seiferle photographs
Jennie Oldfield
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305